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Equality policy

Posted: Sat 01 Aug 2015
AFC Bournemouth is committed to providing a working environment in which employees and all children, young persons and adults at risk engaged in activities at the club are able to realise their full potential and are protected from harm and can contribute to its business success irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

The club is also committed to address the additional vulnerability of some participants and the extra barriers they may face e.g. those in care, looked after children, those with mental health issues, physical disability etc.

The Chairman is the Board Champion for equality and diversity while the Chief Executive has overall responsibility in all the Club’s operations. The General Manager will oversee the implementation of the Club’s policies and procedures while individual managers will have responsibility for the practical application of this policy in the recruitment, selection, training and promotion of workers.  However, all employees are expected to give their support to the key employment values around equality and diversity.

Equality Act 2010 – 9 Protected Characteristics

Age – Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or a range of ages (e.g.18-30 year olds).
Disability - A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Gender reassignment – The process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and civil partnership – In England and Wales marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a women but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couples.  Same sex couples can also have their relationships recognised as a ‘civil partnership’.  Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).
Pregnancy and maternity – Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby.  Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context.  In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
Race – Refers to the protected characteristics of Race.  It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion and belief – Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. atheism).  Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
Sex – A man or a woman.
Sexual orientation – Whether a person’s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
Declared Disabilities

The Equality Act requires employers to treat people with a declared disability equally with non-disabled persons in all employment matters. A disability under the Act is described as a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ (more than minor or trivial) and ‘long-term’ (more than 12 months) negative effect of the individual’s ability to undertake normal daily activities.
The club will make reasonable adjustments/changes to the premises etc. to accommodate the needs of employees with disabilities so long as these changes do not contravene other health and safety laws.
For the avoidance of doubt, when using the term ‘club’ in this policy document, this includes employees of the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust and the AFC Bournemouth Academy.
In order to create conditions in which this goal can be realised, the club is committed to identifying and eliminating unlawful discriminatory practices, procedures and attitudes throughout the club and in its activities. The club expects all employees to support this commitment and to assist in its realisation in all possible ways.   It also falls to persons supervising the activities of vulnerable groups engaged with the club.
The commitment to equality and diversity applies to all aspects of employment and activities conducted at the club, including:
•    All employees including volunteers have personal responsibility for the practical application of this Policy, which extends to the treatment of job applicants, workers (including former workers), contractors, customers and visitors.
•    Recruitment and selection, including advertisements, job descriptions, interview and selection procedures;
•    Training;
•    Promotion and career development opportunities;
•    Terms and conditions of employment, and access to employment related benefits and facilities;
•    Grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures;
•    And selection for redundancy.
If an individual feels that they are being discriminated against in any way, or if they are aware of any cases of discrimination affecting others, then they should raise the matter with a Supervisor or the General Manager who will consider the necessary action to be taken.
Harassment/Discriminatory and Offensive Behaviour

The club values the individuality and contribution of all its staff and persons engaged in club activities and is committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, sensitivity and fairness and seeks
to ensure that the working environment is free from harassment, bullying and victimisation, discriminatory or offensive behaviour. The club will not tolerate this type of behaviour, whether intended or accidental, and will respond seriously to any situation or complaint where it is apparent that it has taken place. 
Harassment is physical, verbal or non-verbal behaviour which is unwanted and personally offensive to the recipient, and which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.  It often causes the recipient to feel threatened, humiliated, intimidated, patronised, denigrated, bullied, distressed or harassed.
This Policy applies to all permanent full and part-time staff and temporary staff who are employed by the club and all contract staff who are contracted with the club.  It also applies to all other individuals whom employees come into contact with during the course of their employment, including clients, suppliers and job applicants.
The club aims to ensure that all forms of harassment are prevented from happening. 
The way in which complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment will be handled

Discrimination and harassment are often complex matters, and there is no single way of dealing with every suspected or alleged instance. In some cases employees may be able to deal satisfactorily with an issue by raising it with their immediate manager.
If an employee wishes to make a formal complaint he or she should use the club’s Grievance Procedure which is set out in the Employee Handbook.
If an employee is accused of unlawful discrimination or harassment

If an employee is accused of unlawful discrimination or harassment, the club will investigate the matter fully.
In the course of the investigation the employee will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation and provide an explanation of his or her actions.
If the club concludes that no unlawful discrimination or harassment has occurred, this will be the end of the matter.
If the club concludes that the claim is false or malicious the complainant may be subject to disciplinary action.
If on the other hand the club concludes that the employee’s actions amount to unlawful discrimination or harassment he or she may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
Please refer to the club’s Disciplinary Policy & Procedures document for further guidance.

The club will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind in the working environment and will take positive action to prevent its occurrence.
In this connection the club will monitor its policies and will implement changes in order to improve them as social attitudes and legislation change. This commitment applies to all the club’s employment policies and procedures, not just those specifically concerned with Equal Opportunities.
Recruitment of ex-offenders

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to complete criminal record checks (CRC) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, AFC Bournemouth complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a CRC on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. See AFC Bournemouth’s Recruitment of ex-offenders policy